Winnipeg is borrowing a page from Prince Albert in its fight to lower crime and address social problems.
For years it has fought to reduce the level of violence in its core-area.
Just this week however the city announced its latest effort to change all that.
Winnipeg is officially implementing a three-year pilot project of the community initiative better known as the “Hub” or “Core”.
The method essentially sees different levels of government and community groups sitting down together to brainstorm problems.
The program was created in Glasgow, Scotland and then adopted a few years ago by Prince Albert’s then-police chief Dale McFee.
The results have been striking.
According to some of the latest numbers from the Prince Albert Police Service, officers responded to 1,071 fewer complaints in 2012 than the year before.
Heather Leeman is the woman who has been chosen to lead up the project in Winnipeg.
It’s being called the “21-block initiative” — a clear reference to the geographic area it serves.
She says Winnipeg has a lot of resources for citizens to access but too often they’re stepping on each other toes:
“A really good example is you can’t get your children back until you have housing but you can’t get the proper housing until you get your children back. That’s always a really good example of two government departments who have the same goal but neither of them are able to modify their policies enough to help that family out.”
She does note however the Winnipeg approach will have a slightly different flavour to it than Prince Albert:
“I think that another difference here is that ours isn’t necessarily going to be led by the police.”
Leeman says they’re currently striking committees and hopes to begin working with families in April.
She says everyone is optimistic that by having government agencies and outreach groups working together more closely it will spark benefits for families in the north end.